Antje Ellermann (Ph.D. Brandeis, 2005) specializes in comparative politics and comparative public policy, with a regional focus on Europe and North America. Her dissertation research, which was funded by a U.S. Social Science Research Council International Migration Fellowship, examined the comparative politics of deportation. The study used deportation to study the larger question of the coercive capacity of the liberal democratic state. Ellermann's research suggest that cross-national variation in deportation outcomes reflects signficant - and institutionally determined - differences in the capacity of the Germany and the American state to implement coercive, and politically contested, policies. Current research projects include the study of policy failure in the area of migration control and the development of a theoretical framework for the comparative study of immigration politics. Besides the study of the state and the politics of international migration, other research interests include the politics of European integration, and public policy and its implementation. Early Career Scholar, Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies Faculty Associate, Institute for European Studies Faculty Associate, Centre for the Study of Democratic Institutions Faculty Associate, Centre for International Relation.

Listing Details

Department of Political Science, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Bristish Columbia, Canada, V6T 1Z1
(604) 822-4359
Research Description
The Comparative Politics of Immigration: Political Arenas and Policy Choices in Germany, Switzerland, Canada, and the United States With the cross-border movement of people at a historical high, immigration has become one of the most salient policy issues in the advanced industrialized world. For the governments of Western Europe, North America, and the South Pacific, immigration presents a set of complex policy dilemmas. On the one hand, immigrant recruitment presents policymakers with possible solutions to domestic labour shortages and the fiscal pressures of aging populations. The normative and legal obligations of liberal states also commit their governments to protect those fleeing political persecution and reunite families. On the other hand, public concern about the cultural integration of diverse migrant populations often renders immigrant admission a politically risky undertaking. Strikingly, while governments across the liberal democratic world operate under a comparable set of pressures, their policy responses have diverged widely. Whereas some states have sharply tightened immigration rules, others have chosen to open their borders more widely to select groups of immigrants. While Germany and Switzerland, for instance, have recently imposed drastic measures designed to stem the arrival of asylum seekers, Canada has maintained some of the most liberal refugee policies in the world. And while Canada has particularly welcomed economic immigrants, other countries such as the United States have prioritized family-based immigration instead. Through the comparative study of two countries with guestworker legacies - Germany and Switzerland - and two settler countries - Canada and the United States - this project examines and explains the evolution of the immigration regimes of these four major industrialized states over the past five decades. What can account for the vast variety of immigration policies adopted by governments that share similar immigration pressures and challenges? By comparing policy development across countries and within each country over time, this research seeks to meet two key objectives. First, building on Immergut's (1992) institutional political arena framework, I seek to develop a theoretical framework that will allow for the comparative study of the politics of immigration in liberal democracies. Second, the program will provide for a more nuanced understanding of the political dynamics that shape immigration policy in four major immigrant-receiving countries: Germany, Switzerland, Canada, and the United States. The project is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.